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    Retained foreign object after gyn surgery


    Complications following urinary sling procedure

    A 63-year-old Pennsylvania woman went to her gynecologist for treatment of urinary incontinence and subsequently underwent surgery to implant a transobturator urethral sling. After that, the patient claimed she experienced chronic pelvic pain and urinary urgency, intermittent incontinence, and dyspareunia. She returned to the gynecologist twice and he examined her with a scope on the second visit. She then sought a second opinion and that physician found a large mass in the patient’s bladder consisting of a crystalline piece of tape used to secure the sling. The mass was removed and alleviated many of the woman’s symptoms, but she sued the first gynecologist and claimed she was still not pain-free.  

    The patient alleged that the gynecologist failed to do a repeat cystoscopy when she had onset of new symptoms; failed to diagnose and treat bladder stones resulting from the transobturator midurethral sling; negligently inserted the sling through one wall of her bladder and failed to detect the malpositioned urethral sling.

    The gynecologist contended that the patient did not complain of ongoing symptoms until 1 year after insertion of the sling. The jury awarded the patient $2 million.

    Colon perforated during hysterectomy

    A 59-year-old Virginia woman with a previous history of umbilical hernia repair underwent laparoscopic total hysterectomy and salpingectomy. During the procedure, the gynecologist inserted a Veress needle and trocar through her umbilicus, causing an approximately 3 cm anterior and 1 cm posterior perforation to the transverse colon. The injury went undiagnosed during the procedure. During the 2 days following the operation, the patient experienced abdominal pain, chills, distention, and foul-smelling discharge from her umbilical suture site. She presented to the emergency room, where a computed tomography scan revealed a bowel perforation. The woman was taken to surgery for exploratory laparotomy with transverse colon resection and right colon colostomy with Hartmann’s pouch and subsequently wore an ostomy bag for approximately 8 months. She developed an infection because of the colostomy and required an additional surgery to resolve a small bowel obstruction and incisional hernias.

    The parties reached a $1 million settlement.

    NEXT: Bowel injured during laparoscopic tubal ligation


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